FOUR Great Southern vineyards picked up nine of 24 trophies at the prestigious Wine Show of Western Australia held in Mount Barker last week.
Denmark’s Rockcliffe, Castle Rock Estate in Porongurup, Ferngrove Frankland River Wines and Frankland River’s Alkoomi Wines won gold across the Riesling, Rosé and Pinot Noir categories and event coordinator Marie O’Dea said it was a great effort.
“We had more than 115 wineries competing,” she said.
“Our Singaporean judge, Lim Hwee Peng was quite impressed…it’s an indication of the strength of the Great Southern.”
Rockcliffe won best Rosé of show with its 2018 Third Reef Rosé and Rockcliffe owner Steve Hall said it was a “very special” wine.
“At last year’s show, I purposely went through the rosés with Antony [winemaker] and the winners were very dry and grey, and I thought that was a French style,” he said.
“I said to Antony, ‘I need this, it’s a fabulous wine’ and so a lot of hassle, debate and work went into it.
“I thought Antony should make it, and he did, because he is from Provence and we made it in true Provence style.”
Mr Hall said Rockcliffe also won the Neale Warneford Trophy for best red blend with the Ironcloud Wines 2017 Rock of Solitude Purple Patch GSM, as Rockcliffe also makes Ironcloud products.
“Winning a trophy is the pinnacle, really,” he said.
“We’ve effectively made the best Rosé in WA.
“It’s a massive accolade for us.”
Castle Rock Estate won the Winequip Trophy for most successful exhibitor processing under 250 tonnes, best Great Southern white and best Riesling with the 2018 Porongurup Riesling, and best Pinot Noir with the 2017 Porongurup Pinot Noir.
Winemaker and owner Rob Diletti said the vineyard had competed in the wine show since 1986 and winning kept the Castle Rock name fresh in people’s minds.
“We’ve done well in Perth and other capital city shows, so it’s a continual indication showing how our whites are going,” he said.
“For Riesling and Pinot Noir, Porongurup is up there creating the best in Australia.
“It’s amazing to get it [trophies].”
Mr Diletti said the location of the vineyard at the base of the Porongurup – which has a good balance between being not too rigorous and not too lean in its soil – the elevation of the land, and the easterly sea breeze from the Great Australian Bight all contributed to creating the ideal growing conditions for his grapes.
Ferngrove Frankland River Wines won the title of best Great Southern red and best red varietal for its 2017 Black Label Malbec and vineyard manager Chris Zur said it was earned by a big team effort.
“It’s always good news to be recognised for hard work,” he said.
“We’ve been a champion for Malbec in the region for a long time, and it’s because of a lot of work from the whole team.”
Mr Zur said despite Frankland River being “probably” the most isolated of the five sub-regions in the Great Southern, its low disease pressure, Mediterranean climate and the cooling influence of the Southern Ocean in the afternoon were desirable for making Malbec.
Alkoomi Wines won best aged Riesling for their 2010 Black Label Riesling.
Owner Sandy Hallett said the vineyard had supported the Wine Show for many years, with Ms Hallett’s father being one of the founding members of the prominent event.
“This [trophy] shows that Riesling from our region, whilst delicious young, also has tremendous ageing potential,” she said.